ATG Hot Topics 9/18/15

Erin GallagherBy Erin Gallagher

It’s that time of year again.  For what, you may ask?  Apple picking?  Sweaters?  Bonfires?  Not in Florida!  But seriously, it’s starting to feel a bit autumnal even down here in the tropics, and that means it’s time again to become obsessed with everything and anything pumpkinBust out the pumpkin spice and stock up on those insane pumpkin Oreos while they last.

In the library world, fall signals the start of some exciting and thought-provoking events.  I just became aware of Science Literacy Week earlier this year.  Does everyone else know about this?  It originated as a week-long celebration among libraries and other institutions such as zoos and museums in Canada, but it’s gaining momentum among libraries in the U.S.  The celebration starts on Monday, September 21st and runs through the 27th, and will include collaborative projects and events that highlight the importance of science.  Our fantastic science librarian is putting together a couple of events on our campus, including student research projects and a Science Trivia Night.  I took a look at the questions for the trivia night and realized I need to plump up my scientific literacy!  In fact, we probably all need to, according to recent research by the Pew Research Center that suggests scientific literacy in the U.S. is less than dazzling.  I suggest taking the quiz on the Pew site and testing your own knowledge.  Is anyone else’s library recognizing Science Literacy Week?  Any fun events to share?  This will be our first foray but we’re hoping for a good turnout.

On the horizon right after Science Literacy Week is every librarian’s favorite celebration, Banned Books Week Organized and promoted by the American Library Association, Banned Books Week is an annual week-long celebration of the freedom to read.  It sounds like something out of ancient history, but books are still being challenged and threatened by removal from bookstores, libraries, and schools around the globe.  I’ll go into more detail next week, but I hope many librarians are planning to promote this event.  Some of the main tenets of our profession revolve around intellectual freedom and combating censorship.  These issues are relevant now more than ever as we in higher education seek to provide an environment that encourages differing world views and perspectives, even if unpopular or unorthodox.  Our library is holding its first ever Banned Books Read-Out and will be putting together a provocative display.  What is your library doing for Banned Books Week?

Any other fun events coming up in the library/literary world?  I’d love to hear about them.

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